During Saturday’s GOP debate, Marco Rubio made the point that “Bill Clinton didn’t kill Osama bin Laden when he had the chance to kill him.” Naturally, Hillary Clinton took issue with that factual assertion. “Yes, there was an effort to kill him,” she conceded. “Based on the intelligence that was available, missiles struck what was thought to be a training camp. So it wasn’t like there wasn’t an effort.” Then she added, “I see somebody like Senator Rubio just twisting himself into pretzels, trying to appeal to the base of his party — to try to say things that have no common sense or merit to them.”
She is, of course, dead wrong. As Mark Alexander wrote in 2006, “The fact is, during his eight years in office, Clinton had numerous opportunities to capture or kill Osama, but refused. Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Patterson, who carried the ‘nuclear football’ codes for the Clinton administration, notes, ‘[W]e could have prevented the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, we could have prevented 9/11 and we could have prevented the bombings of the embassies in Africa if President Clinton had taken one of these opportunities. … We had eight chances at least to either nab bin Laden or to kill him.’ Michael Scheuer, former CIA chief of the team responsible for hunting bin Laden, confirmed that prior to 9/11 SpecOps had two opportunities when Osama was literally in their sights, but Clinton pulled the plug on both operations.
"Additionally, after 9/11, Clinton admitted he turned down an opportunity to take custody of bin Laden..